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PIP should go beyond firearms

The need for Post-Incident Procedure (PIP) to stretch to beyond the world of firearms was one of the key themes on the opening day of the first-ever seminar on the subject organised by the Police Federation of England & Wales (PFEW) and held in Hinckley.

Che Donald, firearms lead for PFEW and organiser of the two-day event, echoed the opinion of other speakers including DCC Simon Chesterman, the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) lead for firearms, for this to be put in place as soon as possible.

"The guidance for Post Incident Procedure following a firearms incident is well established but needs refining and continually reviewing," he said, "More worrying for officers is the lack of guidance around any other incident following death or serious injury.

"Whilst some refinement and adaptation is required, the existing principles for firearms incidents are easily transferrable. It's positive to hear that the College of Policing is progressing this but it must be delivered without delay, not only for the benefit of our members but also the benefit of victims involved."

The seminar was attended by more than 150 professionals involved in dealing with people directly after an incident involving death or serious injury. The audience included Federation representatives, lawyers, national policing leads and representatives from stakeholder organisations including the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) and College of Policing.

DCC Chesterman outlined the importance for forces to follow the PIP guidance encapsulated in Authorised Professional Practice (APP) by the College of Policing. He made the point that without an effective PIP process the service risks the ability to retain and increase firearms officers through fear of the impact an incident can have on their lives and careers.

IPCC revised guidance around PIP, drafted in March 2014, remains with the Home Office ahead of publication with Scott Ingram of Slater and Gordon Solicitors outlining the importance for this guidance to be fairly balanced for the victims and their families and the officers involved, something he believes has not yet been achieved.

Kevin Nicholson from the College of Policing outlined how work is ongoing to adapt and develop the existing PIP guidance to be used beyond just firearms incidents.

Reflecting on the day, Che Donald said: "Lots of activity is ongoing in this area of work but for the first time we've been able to draw all those involved into the same room. This helps improve the wider understanding of the complexities involved and we hope to see positive and timely progress as a result."